As the clock strikes 12:00 on New Year’s Day, most people are swearing off carbs or giving up smoking.
New Year’s resolutions are made and given up at a blistering pace. Finding someone who actually follows through on never eating a carb again is as rare as a real Sasquatch sighting.
Don’t give up carbs this year, give up poor financial habits! Make New Year’s money resolutions this year!
It’s time to take control of your financial life and it starts here… It starts now!
The resolutions below helped us pay off $109,000 of debt. That massive mountain was climbed one change at a time.
Before you begin your financial New Year, take a look at these easy New Year’s money resolutions!
New Year’s Money Resolutions: Create Money Goals
How can you change your financial life if you don’t know what you’re shooting for? Flying by the seat of your pants doesn’t have a place here.
Resolution numero uno is creating goals.
Start by looking at your current financial situation. Are you starting your debt-free journey, already working on your debt-free journey, or are you debt-free and looking to grow your wealth?
Create one or two achievable large goals. These goals should take you almost the entire year to achieve.
For example, you want to pay off $20,000 (or whatever amount will take 12 months) of debt, or you maybe you want to save $25,000 by December 2019.
Those goals are great macro (high level) goals and they can be put on your New Year’s money resolution vision board.
Once you have your macro-level goals, start creating smaller subcategory goals based around each one.
These smaller goals will help keep you motivated each month.
For example, if you’re trying to pay off $15,000 by December 2019, you’ll need to pay off at least $1,250 a month.
Boom, there’s a nice monthly goal!
Each month you’ll be able to check off a little “I did it” box and pat yourself on the back.
You can even take it another step further and create bi-weekly goals if you want some extra motivation. If you get paid every other week, create a goal that says you’ll pay off $625 a pay.
These smaller goals will be there to keep you motivated as the year wears on and keep you from quitting like all of your friends who have abandoned their New Year’s money resolution goals.
You’re not going to quit though, you’re going to surge ahead… each month crushing goals and changing your financial life. Can you feel it? It’s happening and it’s pretty damn epic.
New Year’s Money Resolutions: Start a Budget
Creating a budget is a killer New Year’s money resolution. It’s not difficult and it will set you up for incredible financial success in 2019.
If you’re new to budgeting don’t fret. We are going to work through this together, and you’ll be a lean, mean budgeting machine in no time!
A great place to start is with your online bank statement. You can export most of these to Microsoft Excel. Once you export it to excel, you’ll need to look at a few months and see where your money is going.
You’re probably going to be a little surprised at your spending habits… Before we started our debt-free journey, we did this and found we were leaking a TON of money each month.
Create a few budget categories. Groceries, gas, monthly bills, subscriptions, entertainment, pet supplies, and whatever else starts to pop up while you’re auditing your spending.
Do this for the previous 3 months. You’ll quickly get an average for your monthly spending.
It’s enlightening to see how much money you’re spending on random shi…stuff. Once you pick your jaw up off the floor, start to estimate how much you should REALLY be spending on these categories.
The amount you need to spend on each category will take some refining. We’ve been refining our budget for a long time, and even now after years… we make some changes.
We live in rural Ohio and budget $225 for groceries every 2 weeks. There are only the two of us and usually we only spend around $190. Slowly, but surely we’ve been chipping our budget back and we’ll probably knock it down to $200 soon.
We budget down to $0 every two weeks. This mean, we account for everything that comes in and out.
A word of caution, don’t budget to actual $0 in your checking account. $70 in over-draft fees are a real kick in the junk…
Leave a small buffer there. We leave $100 and this prevents us from over drafting if we make a budget mistake.
This New Year’s money resolution is a life changing task. Keeping tabs on your spending will turbo charge your success for 2019.
Budgeting was the main ingredient in our $109,000 debt-free journey. Without it, we would have surely failed…
New Year’s Money Resolutions: Stop Over-Spending on Groceries
One of the biggest money leaks a family has is the amount of money spent on groceries. I know this from experience. Our family of two used to spend over $750 a month on food!
Holy moly, right?! It wasn’t because we ate a lot, it was that we shopped at the wrong stores and wasted a ton of food…
This New Year’s money resolution saved us about $350 a month. That’s a lot of rotten spinach and moldy cheese!
We were able to make this change by switching our stores and giving up a few “conveniences.”
For starters we gave up the big box stores. Sorry Kroger… you’re just too expensive and I’m too frugal!
Along with giving up Kroger, we gave up the online grocery shopping. It was so nice while it lasted, but having some high school kid do my shopping for me felt a bit strange.
It was an extra charge, and they rarely got it all right. What’s the point in spending more on our groceries when we aren’t even getting the right stuff?
Look for your smaller stores. Aldi’s is our favorite and they have almost everything we need each month. If there is something we need at a big box store, we go there last!
It’s far too easy to spend more than you need if you haven’t already completed your shopping.
The age old advice of not shopping hungry deserves to be said here too…
If I’m hungry and I’m grocery shopping, I know for a fact I’ll spend more.
There isn’t any reason to buy six bags of granola, but you can bet your ass that will end up in my cart if I’m hungry. Rational thought and hunger don’t share space in my brain…
New Year’s Money Resolutions: Evaluate Your Service Plans
Why are you spending so much on your car insurance, cell phone, or cable plan?
Do you even know how much you’re spending each month, or how much it has increased over the past year or two? I ask because we didn’t know.
We saved over $500 a month by evaluating our service plans. It was insane! Here I was thinking that being a loyal customer was a good thing.
The only thing being a loyal customer did was pad the wallet of the companies CEO.
I don’t make a lot of guarantees, but I’m making one here. If you haven’t evaluated how much you’re spending on these three items, you’re going to save a TON of money.
This New Year’s money resolution won’t take a lot of time either. You can devote a few hours a night for a week and be done.
For our home to save over $500 a month, I only had to make a few phone calls and complete a couple online quotes.
Companies offer great deals to attract new customers… be a new customer and suck up those savings.
New Year’s Money Resolutions: Audit Your Monthly Subscriptions
Do you know how many monthly subscriptions you have? It’s cool if you don’t… I didn’t for a long time!
$5 doesn’t sting, but $50 does… We were paying for Netflix, Hulu, Adobe, Sirius, some cell phone apps and even a gym membership in our old home town (which was 3 hours away)…
This is a super easy New Year’s money resolution. Just export your monthly bank statement to excel and look for those little debits.
Ask yourself “do I really need this”? Often you’ll find that you don’t even use it anymore, or you didn’t even know you were paying for it!
Companies love to offer 30 day free trials because you forget that you signed up! I literally just remembered I need to cancel one as I’m sitting here writing this! (Doh)
You don’t have to give up everything to achieve financial success, but you also don’t want to die a death by a thousand cuts either… Money leaks are a real thing and these tiny subscriptions will sink you.
Even if you save $30 a month, you’re saving $360 a year. That could cover Christmas gifts in 2019! (fist pump)
It’s great to day dream about what we could accomplish in the next year. That’s why creating New Year’s money resolutions is actually kinda fun to do!
Make your resolutions realistic and achievable. After all, what the hell is the point if you just quit in March like everyone else?
These 5 New Year’s money resolutions will put you on a path to financial success… and the best thing about financial success is that it’s compounding. Every month you’ll get stronger and stronger.
Before you know it, you’re retiring early and enjoying your life with the people you love most. It’s achievable, but it has to start somewhere… Start NOW!
What are your New Year’s money resolutions? Share them in the comments below! Help inspire!